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Russian biathlete Olga Pyleva was thrown out of the Olympics and stripped of her silver medal Thursday for failing a drug test, the first athlete caught for doping at the Turin Games. Note that the skiers who were previously suspended (7 of whom had their suspensions reversed) for a naturally occuring biological condition, were not accused of doping.

he had tested positive for the banned stimulant carphedon in a urine test following Monday's race. Nikolai Durmanov, head of Russian Anti-Doping Committee, said a doctor who treated her for an ankle injury in January gave her an over-the-counter medication that did not list carphedon as one of its ingredients. If it can be proven that this doctor was the source of the drug and that the athlete had no knowledge of it, is it really fair to punish the athlete?

This goes back to the propecia issue - is it fair to condemn someone to premature baldness (or any other disease or condition) as the price to pay for athletic competition? Am I the only one bothered by the idea that an athlete must choose between treating their health and maintaining competitive elligibility? Why not give the athlete the option and responsibility of listing the treatments they have received and not automatically disqualifying them if they test for substances that are predicted.

I know the argument that just because they claim they are using Propecia does not mean they are not also masking something more serious. But does guilt by association live up to our standards of reasonable doubt? Surely the technology exists to distinguish legitimate traces of substances from the illegitimate. Are we damaging our athletic heroes by not allowing them to accept standard medical treatments? When did sporting events become retricted to free range athletes?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/olympics/2006/02/16/doping/index.html

Fuskie
Who does not support zero tolerance rules because he feels nothing in life is simply black and white, but that it takes the consideration of knowledgeable men and women to determine the degree of grey that applies...
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treating their health

"Premature" baldness is not a matter of health.


But does guilt by association live up to our standards of reasonable doubt?

OUR standards are largely irrelevant when it comes to a world matter.


Acme
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But does guilt by association live up to our standards of reasonable doubt?

First of all this is not a legal proceeding, so it would be a mistake to have the same standards apply. This is a competition, freely entered into by each athlete. If they don't like the rules, they can stay home. I do think that the ruling bodies of these sports need to work a lot closer with the athletes to ensure that they don't take things by accident. Meanwhile, though, if I am an athlete, I make 100% sure that I know exactly what anything and everything I put into my body contains, and I make 100% sure that nothing I take is on the banned substance list.
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"Premature" baldness is not a matter of health.

Mental health.

Fuskie
whose point is that athletes should not be forced to deny themselves things that we take for granted if they do not enhance their performance or are intended to maintain their health...
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If they don't like the rules, they can stay home.

From this perspective, the Olympics have come a long way since Chariots of Fire, and their direction is not a pretty one. Instead of inviting athletes of the world, it is screening them using rules that are designed to catch everyone rather than just those who attempt to cheat.

I do think that the ruling bodies of these sports need to work a lot closer with the athletes to ensure that they don't take things by accident.

That would not have helped the 7 skiers whose suspensions were not overturned (there is zero evidence that they did anything but get high hemoglobin levels from their flights and didn't adjust to the local environs as quickly as the others), and yet their reputations are tarnished. And this would not have helped the Russian whose only crime was taking the advice of a qualified medical doctor who prescribed an over-the-counter medication that did not list the banned ingredient.

if I am an athlete, I make 100% sure that I know exactly what anything and everything I put into my body contains, and I make 100% sure that nothing I take is on the banned substance list.

Good luck with that. As I said, free range athletes. So much for competition amount the worlds best athletes. Now we have competition among the best bred athletes. In the meantime, we'll just destroy peoples repuations and lives with inference and blame for things beyond their control.

Fuskie
Who remains unconvinced that zero tolerance has improved the Olympics...
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